Frequently hit East Freeway bridge to be replaced

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- TxDOT has plans to replace a bridge that is the source of many traffic nightmares for Houston drivers.

Thousands of drivers had a lengthy commute from the Eastside into Downtown Houston Thursday morning after a truck hit a bridge over the I-10 East Freeway at Waco Street.

RELATED: I-10 WB at Waco reopens after over-height truck hits bridge

TxDOT says the bridge was struck about five times last year alone.

The clearance is relatively low, at 14"4'. Thursday morning, the damage wasn't serious, but some of the westbound mainlines were closed until midday.

TxDOT has tried, with some success, to minimize bridge strikes at Waco Street.

In 2015, TxDOT installed infrared technology at I-10, Mercury and Wirt to detect loads higher than 14 feet. Upon detection, a sign lights up telling the truck driver to detour to IH-610. TxDOT says the year before the technology was installed, there were 35 bridge strikes, and the year after it was installed there were 12.

Still, these bridge strikes happen as drivers await a more permanent solution. TxDOT says there is a project to be awarded in November that will replace the bridge and the approaches.

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